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Calgary Announces New CEMA Head Susan Henry – Calgary

The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) has a new boss – deputy boss Susan Henry.

Henry will replace Tom Sampson, who announced his resignation on October 7th and is leaving the agency on November 30th.

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Thanking Sampson for his mentoring, Henry said, “It has been a master class in leadership to see you in action.”

Henry has been CEMA’s deputy since 2015, responsible for disaster risk reduction, community education and business continuity. She also helped make Canada Task Force 2 one of the top six urban search and rescue teams in Canada, according to a Calgary City publication.

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Richard Hines, the city’s director of community standards, said the determination of Sampson’s successor involved a “robust” international search “to find the best combination of skills and experience.” Hines said applications came from Hong Kong, California, Texas, and across Canada.

He said Henry’s “educational background, combination of strategic experience, and a history of disaster response are outstanding.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said although he had no role in deciding who the new CEMA boss would be, he knew who he wanted.

“We have the best person in the world,” said Nenshi. “And luckily she was with us the whole time.”

Henry holds a Masters of Science degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University and received the Medal of Honor for her work in the 2011 Slave Lake Wildfires. She also won the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award from Public Safety Canada.

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“I can’t imagine how CEMA would have done without them,” said Sampson. “I’m confident in her skills, her background – she’s a mathematician who got into business continuity management.”

Sampson said Calgary “couldn’t be in better hands” with Henry and that CEMA is stronger because of the change in leadership.

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Enforcement, contact tracing still required

Sampson and Nenshi also briefed on the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and introduced new measures in support of recent provincial measures.

“We continue to work with the Alberta government and its great partners to enforce the province’s new ordinances,” said Sampson.





1:52Alberta is temporarily increasing the number of peace officials allowed to sanction fines during the COVID-19 pandemic


Alberta is temporarily increasing the number of peace officials allowed to sanction fines during the COVID-19 pandemic – November 27, 2020

Currently, the city’s 15 Level 1 peace officers can issue tickets for public health violations, and the city is requesting the province for its 69 Level 2 peace officers to be involved in enforcement.

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On Friday afternoon, Attorney General and Attorney General Kaycee Madu said some level 2 peace officials in the province are allowed to issue tickets while they go about their other normal duties.


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1:08Nenshi wants citizens to go outside, but not all in the same place


Nenshi wants citizens to go outside, but not all in the same place – November 27, 2020

“If [the province] could clearly see their way to achieve this. This is extremely beneficial because we know that while setting limits is important, we have now come to the point where enforcing those limits is also important, ”said Sampson.

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Nenshi said the city is “ready and willing to help” strengthen the province’s declining contact tracing system, which recently dropped 3,000 cases older than 10 days after being required to maintain close links with confirmed cases to these COVID- to reach positive people.

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“There are a number of innovative things we’re looking at and we’re trying to help the province, with private and public sector partners, just get more contact tracers and get them now,” said Nenshi.

The mayor said AHS is receptive to potentially employing university students who have completed exams or recently-on leave and streamlining training.

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AHS confirmed that it is working on details of the city’s offer and possible next steps.

In a statement sent to Global News, AHS said they are “working with a variety of agencies and individuals to increase the contact tracing workforce, including some private providers”.

“Some elements of case investigation / contact tracing must be performed by a regulated healthcare professional, which is a factor in engaging other providers,” the statement said.

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The outgoing CEMA boss also said the city is relaxing on-street parking to help businesses.

On-street parking in Calgary’s Business Improvement Areas and Revitalization Zones offers 15 minutes of free parking that can be started and stopped by phone, text or smartphone app.

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Sampson’s last day in town is Monday. He then plans to travel to BC to provide medical care for his sister and brother-in-law.

In an interview with The Morning News on Global News Radio 770 CHQR, Nenshi said that Calgarians cannot yet call 311 to register complaints of health status violations in Alberta.

“There is a small issue with the city and province regarding enforcement that needs to be addressed,” said Nenshi. “It will be 311, but in the meantime you can call the police non-emergency number – 403-266-1234.”

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Nenshi said arguments over whether provincial measures will be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 are controversial.

“None of this matters,” said the mayor. “The point is, these orders are in effect, they are the law – no one in your house who doesn’t live there unless they’re a caregiver, doesn’t go to restaurants or bars with people who are not in your house live, and soon.

“We have to follow them and think, ‘How can we do better?'”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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